I am amazed when I pass the drive thru windows of coffee shops in the late afternoons and see cars lined up around the building. And as a matter of fact many of these same people were in that same line on their way to work. The modest cost of this daily ritual is $8. This daily habit can deplete their income by a whopping $160 a month. Let’s take a look at what could be accrued for retirement if they would invest this money in a mutual fund earning an average of a 7% return for 20 years.
They would have a nest egg of $84, 840.
When we were raising our family we did not have the surplus income to participate in that kind of luxury spending. We did not even have the money to get into a regular saving pattern. I was invited to a luncheon meeting by a friend to hear a speaker discuss “thinking small” when getting into the habit of saving. Leaving that meeting I felt inspired to get started in saving for the future. At that time I was paid twice a month. I authorized the company to deduct $18.75 a pay period to purchase a $25 savings bond. At the end of 6 months I increased it to $37.50, securing a $50 bond. By year end I had $900 in savings bonds. That small success motivated me to seek a financial planner to discuss ways to reduce expenses and increase our savings.
My last posting was about setting up a budget. In my opinion that is the first step to building wealth. When you read about the money some people are spending on coffee you may have said “That's not me!” That may be the case, but the point is to evaluate spending decisions in our lifestyles to determine which choices are indeed a necessity and which offer us an option.
We followed the guidance of our financial planner and made some hard choices. As a result of doing this we have been blessed with a retirement budget that allows us to live a life of abundance. We may have sacrificed a few “luxuries” during my 43-year career but we now have the freedom to make many choices to live fully and enjoy wonderful trips abroad and to many parts of the country we have not seen, host family celebrations, and just enjoy life with our family and friends.
My initial goal was to write a few notes about my life story for my grandchildren. I was encouraged by friends to share these ideas with others. Some of the information I am sharing may not apply to you but it may benefit your children or grandchildren. I would appreciate your passing it on to them. Since they are big followers on Face Book, your sharing my postings will increase my audience.
Last week the readers of the blog expanded to a few foreign countries. The posting I did on the importance of doing a Dream Board has been visited by 1000 people. Even though I have been retired for 8 years my competitive spirit of being in marketing is in my DNA. I would appreciate your comments regarding any success you are having with any ideas I post.